Bill: Home inspections sounds good but who gets the job ? An Electrician ? A Plummer ? Just to name a few one has knowledge in one field but limited in the other. In my area, we have Home Inspections/Inspectors(Not affiliated with the county building department) and I think they are state certified, also I dont think that should make any difference. This year I did a revamp in a nearby township, there was a 60 amp meter socket and a 100 amp panel in the basement. The couple had just bought the home and had paid for a ' Home Inspection ', and everything had passed. How can a Home inspector pass the service, he didnt know, he saw the panel, it had breakers in it and as far as he was concerned it was ok. Of course there was no mention of the fact that the laundry sink was just underneath the service panel a water pipe ground held on to the water line by an automobile hose clamp,( all this was missed) The first part of this is qualification and second and most important should autonomy. In my area the local Real Estate have a huge influence on these inspectors, and the number of calls they get are dependant on how generous they are in passing a certain house. Recently I must admit they have been getting better and have a complete checklist that they turn over to the Realty Agent and they assume the responsibility after the inspection. However; they still seem to miss quite a bit the house mentioned above the new owners had just put out 3500 dollars before I got there to straighten out their plumbing, and all this was to be included in the inspection. The sad part is they had to pay for this home inspection and believed they had gotten done everything that was required to ensure they didnt buy a ' lemon ' and still got stuck. This has come a long way but still has a long way to go.
#11116 - 06/30/0203:54 PMRe: Home Inspector Checklist
Sparky Heres another good one, I redid an old house in the city, a local bank was securing the loan for the work, and insisted they send their inspector over to check the work, this is after our city Electrical inspector had approved the work. She showed up at 9 AM, right on time, went promptly to the basement looked for the electrical panel opened it up, the door, saw the breakers and said, " Yup thats ok it has breakers" and left. That was the extent of the banks inspection. Heck I expected to be questioned about what I had done, how I had done it, on and on, I had this whole scenario imagined how the conversation would go, but that was it. I couldnt believe it.
#11119 - 06/30/0209:41 PMRe: Home Inspector Checklist
i am an electrical contractor just trying to improve.
mims, we all are here.... and BTW....welcome!
Mark, yeah, we've been getting more & more bank inspectors. This is due to the amount of defaults on loans, which in turn is due to lack of Occupany Permits or real inspectors, nothing to do with safety or craftmanship........
#11120 - 06/30/0209:46 PMRe: Home Inspector Checklist
Most people fail to read the fine print on their inspection report. Most reports always have the clause "recommend inspection by a qualified electrician, plumber, hvac company etc etc. The inspection merely passes the responsibility on therfore limiting the inspectors liability. I recently was called to fix some problems on a residential panel. The inspector noted two minor problems but he never mentioned the single hot conductor landed on a 20 amp breaker going to the garage all by itself then picking up a convienent neutral in the garage to complete the circuit nor did he mention the fact that the panel was an FPE. Now I have to look like a crook telling them I can't put our name on it unless we fix everything.
#11121 - 06/30/0210:22 PMRe: Home Inspector Checklist
Brian: you see thats the problem they find some samll problem and reccomend they call and electrician and when we get to fix the little problem they noted, we notice the one that were overlooked. What gets me tho is the fact that alot of these first time home buyers are getting taken, and they dont know any better. But they are told that they are better off getting one of these home inspection, " Just to be safe" and the bottom they are no better off than before, but a hundred bucks lighter in the wallet. And as you noted, this puts us in a real bind and the customer gets one of two opinions, either we are trying to rip him off or the Home Inspector did, either way it doesnt look good. -Mark-
#11122 - 06/30/0211:42 PMRe: Home Inspector Checklist
Sorry if I misinterpreted your question. I was thinking it was from someone that was involved as a Home Inspector and I thought it was a great opportunity for some constructive interaction.
I don't think that there's any question that it would be best to hire a team of experts to go over a house, but that's just not going to happen. It is also likely that in some areas no certification is needed for this job either. Assuming this, my question is; what advice would you give to someone involved in Home Inspection that would like to do a good job at it?